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Archived Fishing Report

Dave Stewart's Fishing Report

Written by Dave Stewart | Originally published 07/02/2009

Kentucky Lake:  Water Level at Ky Dam - 359.35  Surface Temperature - 85

Lake Barkley:  Water Level at Barkley Dam - 359.30  Surface Temperature - 86
Both lakes are nearing summer pool on a slow drawdown.  Normally the lakes are drawn down one foot during the month of July, so expect the levels to slowly drop over the next few weeks about one foot barring any unforeseen heavy rains here and up river.  

The nasty unseasonable heat wave we experienced last week was broken early this week with the passage of a cold front and the days have been very pleasant with daytime highs this past week in the mid to upper 80's and early morning temperatures in the 60's.  The cool down assisted in dropping  the water temperatures a couple of degrees also.  The forecast for the holiday weekend is for daytime highs in the mid to lower 80's and light winds.  

There is a 40% chance for some scattered thunderstorms on Saturday and Sunday so boaters need to keep an eye to the sky, especially in the heat of the day for any rapidly approaching storms.  The lakes were already starting to get crowded today with the influx of folks coming to the lakes to enjoy the holiday weekend.  This weekend is historically the busiest holiday weekend of the season on the lakes so expect the lakes to be busy.  I would like to urge folks out there on the water this weekend to be courteous and drive defensively.  We have had a number of drownings on the lakes this year, we certainly do not want to add to that number this weekend.  
The Largemouth Bass fishing has been good overall this week with reports of good numbers of quality fish being taken.  Even though I spent this week doing some focused teaching trips in which we are spending more time in the learning mode than trying to catch fish, we did continue to boat some quality Largemouth on the ledges this week.   

There were a number of very big bags of fish weighed in during the bass tournaments last weekend, so the banner Largemouth year that I predicted late last winter seems to be continuing so far.  I received a few reports this week of some numbers of Crappie being taken even though most folks are not targeting these fish during the summer.  White Bass catches this week were reported as good also, especially during the evening hours when current is present.  The mayfly hatches slowed some this past week but we should expect more of these shortly which I am sure will excite the panfish anglers.  
FLASH:  I normally put any fishing news flashes at the end of my weekly report, but since I spend all my time out there on the lakes fishing for bass, I cannot help but pass this along first this week.  A possible new world record bass has been reported all over the internet today.  It seems a possible new world record or at least a Largemouth Bass that will tie the existing world record that has stood for over 70 years was reportedly caught at Lake Biwa in Japan.  This possible record catch has not been officially recognized yet, but if you check out the big fishing news websites, I am sure you will find the particulars of this catch being reported as the story unfolds.  
Largemouth Bass:  Largemouth Bass are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes and around the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on deep diving crankbaits, Carolina and Texas rigged creature baits and large worms, jigs, spoons and large shakey head worms.  Largemouth are also being taken on secondary points and associated creek channel banks in the creeks and bays as well as on the shallow flats in the creeks and bays as they are feeding on schools of fry from the spring spawns.  

This bite on the fry is especially present during the early morning and late evening hours.  These fish are being taken on topwater lures, spinnerbaits, crankbaits, Texas rigged worms and creature baits, shakey head worms and jigs.  Largemouth are also being taken around submerged grass, emerged vegetation and wood cover on buzz frogs, spinnerbaits, Texas rigged small creature baits and soft jerkbaits.  
Smallmouth Bass:  Smallmouth Bass are being taken on the old river and creek channel ledges on the main lakes and around the mouths of the deeper creeks and bays.  These fish are being taken on Carolina rigged creature baits and jigs.  Smallmouth are also being taken on main lake primary and secondary points early and late in the day on tube jigs and jigs.  

I am continuing to receive reports that the Smallmouth are biting at night on main lake primary and secondary points as well as on the rocky secondary points and associated creek channel banks around the mouths of the bays on Kentucky Lake on large dark colored spinnerbaits and jigs.  
Some of the productive lures reported this week are:  Yozuri spash-it popping baits in lemon with ghost body, Rebel pop r's in black/chrome and white, Rapala DT series deep diving crankbaits in parrot and green shad, MOAB DT series custom painted crankbaits in bluegill, Norman DD series crankbaits in paradise shad and white, Charmer timber dawgs and timber pups in green pumpkin and watermelon/purple, Charmer 10.5" worms in plum and green pumpkin, Xcite 10" maximus shaky head worms in plum, green pumpkin and green pumpkin/purple on 5/8 ounce Xcite xloc shakey head jigs, Strike King sexy spoons in shad patterns, Hook Some Bass spinnerbaits in blue glimmer, Charmer shaky head worms in green pumpkin, Zoom trick worms on shakey head jigs in green pumpkin, Jack's bubber frog in watermelon/red, Zoom horny toads in green pumpkin swirl and white, Zoom super flukes in white, Jewel football head jigs in gourd/craw and P.J.'s football head jig in watermelon candy.  
Crappie:  Crappie reports indicate that some Crappie are being taken in 12 - 15 ft of water on the main lakes and around the mouths of the deeper bays over mats with small jigs tipped with minnows.  
White Bass:  White Bass are being taken along the old river and creek channel ledges by vertically fishing with inline spinners and small spoons.  White Bass are also being taken by folks trolling with inline spinners and small crankbaits trolled along the edges of the flats near channel ledges.  I have not had any reports of White Bass in the jumps this week, but I have myself observed some few jumps around the mouths of the bays but they are short in duration.
Bluegill:  Bluegills are being taken around willow trees with associated mayfly hatches early and late in the day.  These fish are being taken with crickets and worms fished under bobbers.  Bluegills are also being taken around deeper water docks, especially at night under lights fishing with worms and crickets under bobbers.
Catfish:  Catfish are being taken along the old river channel ledges on bottom bouncing rigs baited with shrimp and leech combinations as well as on bottom rigs baited with large minnows.  These fish are biting better late in the evening and at night during periods of current.

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Now That You're 'Hooked' on Fishing... Come See Us!

If you've dug this deep in our Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley fishing reports, you are probably just itching to come down and visit the South's biggest lakes.  Get started by finding that perfect place to stay!  Find a Kentucky Lake cabin or a Lake Barkley campground, a full-service resort or a marina.  Heck, there are even dozens of hotels off the water to choose from! 

Don't have a boat?  No worries!  Bank fishing is always an option for panfish. But if you're heart is set on largemouth or smallmouth, you can rent a fishing boat at many of our local resorts!

The perfect place to start looking for a place to stay at Kentucky or Barkley Lakes?  Right here on our main lodging page.

Photo by Nancy Smith

There are few things more beautiful than a Kentucky Lake sunset. The best place to view a sunset is from the western shore of Land Between The Lakes.